Last night we had a nice dinner with a good bottle of red wine, which was in my Company’s this year’s Christmas present.
Very good wine, a blend of Malbec and Cabernet-Sauvignon, from a local Argovian producer.
It was also quite strong. I checked the bottle and I saw the “magical” number: 13.2% vol. alcohol! Thirteen POINT TWO!
Have you ever seen this? I would have expected either 13% or 13.5%. But POINT TWO was an absolute prime for me.
Maybe even the percentage of alcohol in Switzerland is calculated and indicated on the bottle in their own unique Swiss way…
I was quite surprised as I found more than one “Marché Mövenpick” in some shopping malls even in Singapore!
Every shopping mall in Singapore is hosting a great variety of restaurants with different styles and food from various regions and countries of the world.
Switzerland seems to be represented by Marché! In Singapore they probably consider it as the pure Swissness, the “non-plus-ultra” of the Confederate cuisine! But they do not know that Marché, in its home country, is actually nothing more than a normal self-service / buffet diner, you can typically find in service areas on many Swiss highways!
During one of the usual Saturday’s trips to Zurich with my family, I found out a unique “thing”…
Just at Bellevue, the main square next to the lake, I saw a strange polygonal light blue shape.
I went closer to see: it is not a ship! it is not a boat! it is neither a normal house nor the Addams Family’s mansion! But it floats on the water!
It seems a building arrived here from a fairy tale: the pastel colour, the weird shape, and the magic mood around it…
I went closer and closer and finally I discovered it.
It’s the “heart barrack”!
It is a seasonal (October-March) floating real cabaret theatre with restaurant which offers a very interesting programme: every single night a different show!
This is a great entertainment for Zurich city: it seems like a time machine to go back to France at the time of art nouveau!
You do not believe me? You do not think that such delight can exist in Zurich?
Check it out by yourself and let me know: www.herzbaracke.ch
Today, Saturday, I went with my family to Zurich to have lunch in the nice vegetarian restaurant Tibits and enjoy a sunny day at the lake and at the cinema.
When you eat outside in Switzerland, the high prices are always reducing your joy of a good meal in a good restaurant.
After lunch, this attracting set of two coffees and two ice creams was “just” 16 CHF! Horrible price, isn’t it? Unfortunately quite usual in Switzerland.
I would be relieved to know that in some other countries these very basic pleasures of life are so expensive too!
Last Saturday, as often when we go to Zurich, we had lunch in our favourite place in town: the famous vegetarian restaurant “Haus Hiltl”, just couple of steps from the central Bahnhofstrasse.
This time I just realised that they are a Guinness World Record holder! Haus Hiltl is the oldest vegetarian restaurant of the world!
And in 2018 they celebrate their 120th anniversary!
The vegetarian food is very unique, with many exotic influences, fresh and good! You typically choose the specialties and quantities you prefer from a buffet, paying for the relevant weight.
Congratulations Haus Hiltl!
And congratulations small Switzerland, another world record!
In Switzerland, at the restaurant, you can order a bottle of wine, an open wine or a glass of wine.
When choosing a glass of wine you would expect that the host pours the wine, so that the glass looks filled in a proper and decent way.
But what about the precision? That’s why all the Swiss glasses for red, white, rose’, champagne, Prosecco are “cut” by a white horizontal line with the mathematical indication of 10 cl!
Precise and perfect, but for sure the wine tastes less good and magical in a “lined” glass!
Baden, the small city in Argovia famous for the old roman hot springs and for being the headquarters of ABB and GE in Switzerland, has just celebrated its “ride” from the 18th to the 27th of August.
The so-called “Badenfahrt” is a great party which lasts 10 days all over the town and takes place every 10 years (every 5 with a smaller version).
All the city transforms itself in a real Wonderland: everywhere you find stalls with food and drinks, temporary open air bars, people preparing and selling food from every country in the world, stages for concerts, a big Luna Park with impressive attractions, western-style saloons, terraces and balconies, even a rocket takeoff installation, tropical clubs, exotic places, fun and happiness. The ultimate 10 years’ recurring event!
The most of this “new temporary city within the actual city” is organised by various associations, which are so popular in Switzerland. Therefore a lot of people are volunteering to contribute to the success of this event.
This time, the small great Baden has done it perfectly!
Better than any pirate, corsair, crusade, expedition, campaign: the Baden ride, the Badenfahrt, has really been amazing!
Photo from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leberk%C3%A4se
Today I tried again one of the most unusual Swiss specialities: the so-called “Fleischkäse”, which translated in English sounds something like “meat cheese”.
According to Wikipedia, it consists of corned beef, pork, bacon and onions and is made by grinding the ingredients very finely and then baking it as a loaf in a bread pan until it has a crunchy brown crust.
It looks actually weird and the Swiss name really gives an idea of what this food is. Meat with the texture and the appearance of cheese… or eventually cheese with the taste of meat.
If you really know what this dish is, you will probably not eat it.
But pretending not to know the preparation and the ingredients, it is actually quite tasty. Better if accompanied by some beer.
Beer? Yes, of course. This food is a speciality of Switzerland, but also known in Austria and Germany.
And how can you quench your thirst in such countries without beer?
Ehrendingen is the small nearly 5’000 inhabitant village where we live. All the main services are granted as usual in Switzerland (supermarket, post office, pharmacy, etc.), including some local restaurants.
And when I say “local” I mean… very Swiss: Wienerschnitzel and French fries being one of the main and most exciting dishes!
But today at lunch we found a restaurant which is really a pearl: the restaurant is old (it was a Piemontese restaurant, “Heimat”) but it was re-opened two months ago! And now it is based on international flavours with Asian and African influences. All with great presentation of the dishes, marvelous tastes and perfumes and unique recipes. All made by the young and friendly cook Tim, who was working before in a one-Michelin-star restaurant in Basel! I have been living in the Confederation for 15 years but, when eating outside, I never felt the real joy which only special recipes or extraordinary meals can give you!
Congratulations to the new crew of this reborn restaurant! If you are passing by Ehrendingen, a meal in the Heimat is really worthy! Heimat, like homeland…
But don’t worry: The tastes you will experience in this nice restaurant have nothing to do with its Swiss… “homeland”!
A nice round, crispy (where it needs to be) and soft (where it needs to be) wonderful pizza!
Stop! This can only be served in Italy!
No matter how Italian is the restaurant here in Switzerland…but the level of their pizza will never be as the one in Italy!
Even with a proper oven, the pizza here is totally disappointing.
And the quality-price ratio is absurd!
Look at the photo. That is the price list proudly shown on the window of a pizzeria in the city centre in Milan!
The same in Switzerland would be at list doubled.
A 5 Euro Margherita in Milan is something like minimum 10-12 Sfr in Switzerland!
And the quality!
Here in the Confederation, the pizza (let’s take the simplest and most classical one: Margherita, i.e. Tomato, mozzarella, basil) is always covered by a kind of uniform layer of “rubber/plastic” mixture which is supposed to be the melted mozzarella. This layer is normally well lubricated by a generous quantity of oil (olive oil? Mmmh…doubtful!)
The result is a heavy part which makes the whole pizza too difficult to finish!
The crispy border is often also too chewy and flexible, making the pizza look like a kind of sling!
Why all this?
I do not know exactly! But probably the ingredients are not supreme, the ways of preparing and cooking this delicious piece of art are just scholastic and the training on the job (so important here in each Canton for each occupation!) is not really helpful!
And probably all the “pizzaioli” (pizza bakers) in any Swiss “pizzaland” rely on the fact that no one ever tasted a real amazing pizza actually MADE IN ITALY!
Nothing to do with the circular reddish-orange, rubbery, pale bordered “Sw-izza“!